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If you're looking for guidance in applying Tennessee's Rules of Professional Conduct to the technology you use in your daily practice, a TennBarU online course could help. The interactive text format offers a lively learning experience, with scenarios that relate to the challenges you face.

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TODAY'S OPINIONS
Click on the category of your choice to view summaries of today’s opinions from that court, or other body. A link at the end of each case summary will let you download the full opinion in PDF format. To search all opinions in the TBALink database or to obtain a text version of each opinion, go to our OpinionSearch page. If you have forgotten your password or need to obtain a password, you can look it up on TBALink at the TBA's Membership Central.

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You can obtain full-text versions of the opinions two ways. We recommend that you download the Opinions to your computer and then open them from there. 1) Click the URL at end of each Opinion paragraph below. This should give you the option to download the original document. If not, you may need to right-click on the URL to get the option to save the file to your computer. 2) Do a key word search in the Search Link area of TBALink. This option will allow you to view and save a plain-text version of the opinion.

THOMAS GEESLING, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS ADMINISTRATOR OF THE ESTATE OF SHARON GEESLING V. LIVINGSTON REGIONAL HOSPITAL, LLC

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Phillip L. Davidson, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Thomas Geesling, individually and as Administrator of the Estate of Sharon Geesling.

C.J. Gideon, Jr. and Brian Cummings, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Livingston Regional Hospital, LLC.

Judge: KURTZ

The trial court granted summary judgment to the defendant in this medical malpractice case after finding that the affidavit of plaintiff's nursing expert failed to meet the requirements of Tenn. Code Ann. section 29-26-115. Based upon our conclusion that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in holding that the affidavit of plaintiff's expert witness did not satisfy Tenn. Code Ann. section 29-26-115, we affirm the decision of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2008/geeslingt_121908.pdf


DISCOVER BANK v. SHIRLEY D. HENSON

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Steven T. Richardson, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Discover Bank.

Larry L. Crain, Brentwood, Tennessee, for the appellee, Shirley D. Henson.

Judge: CLEMENT

This is a collection action that was originated by a credit card company in general sessions court. Following an appeal to the circuit court, the defendant's Tenn. R. Civ. P. 12.02(6) motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim on which relief could be granted was granted because the plaintiff failed to attach to the pleadings the credit card agreement upon which the claim was based as required by Tenn. R. Civ. P. 10.03. We have determined the dismissal should be set aside because the action originated in general sessions court and as Tenn. Code Ann. section 16-15-729 provides, no civil case originating in a general sessions court shall be dismissed by a higher court for any informality, but shall be tried on its merits, and the court shall allow amendments in the form of action or the statement of the cause of action necessary to reach the merits. Further, civil cases originating in general sessions court that are appealed to circuit court may be pled on the facts alone without reference to specific causes of action. We, therefore, reverse the ruling of the circuit court and remand the case for further proceedings.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2008/hensons_121908.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MAURICE CURRIE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

J. Thomas Caldwell, Ripley, Tennessee, for the appellant, Maurice Currie.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; J. Ross Dyer, Assistant Attorney General; and J. Michael Dunavant, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WELLES

The Defendant, Maurice Currie, was convicted of possession of .5 grams or more of cocaine with the intent to deliver and received an eight-and-one-half-year sentence. In this appeal, the Defendant argues that the trial court erred by failing to suppress the drugs discovered during the search of his residence and car. He contends that the search warrant that the officers executed at his residence was invalid because the reliability of the informant was based upon information received from another officer, not named in the warrant. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/curriem_121908.pdf


PHILLIP M. MULLINS v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Harvey Douglas Thomas, Algood, Tennessee, for the appellant, Phillip M. Mullins.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Elizabeth B. Marney, Assistant Attorney General; William E. Gibson, District Attorney General; and Beth Willis, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

The petitioner, Phillip M. Mullins, appeals from the denial of his 2004 petition for post-conviction relief, which challenged his 2001 convictions of felony murder, second degree murder, especially aggravated robbery, and especially aggravated burglary. He asserts (1) that he was denied the effective assistance of counsel at trial and on appeal; (2) that the State engaged in prosecutorial misconduct; (3) that the jury verdicts were inconsistent; (4) that the trial court abused its discretion by "adding a charge," by admitting certain evidence, and by denying a defense motion to change venue; (5) that the jury pool was racially imbalanced; (6) that his "personal property was seized without a warrant"; (7) that the State was not required to prove every element beyond a reasonable doubt; and (8) that he was not provided "notice of a deal between the State and accomplice, Terry Dawson." Finding that seven of the petitioner's eight claims are waived and that he has failed to establish that his counsel was ineffective, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/mullinsp_121908.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MELVIN L. TAYLOR

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

David A. Collins, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Melvin L. Taylor.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Cameron L. Hyder, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. (Torry) Johnson, III, District Attorney General; Dan Hamm and Sharon Reddick, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: THOMAS

A Davidson County jury convicted the defendant, Melvin L. Taylor, of one count of aggravated kidnapping and one count of attempted aggravated rape, both Class B felonies, and one count of aggravated assault, a Class C felony. The defendant received a total effective sentence of 30 years in the Department of Correction. On appeal, the defendant asserts that the evidence produced at trial was insufficient to sustain his aggravated kidnapping conviction. After reviewing the record, we affirm the judgments of trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/taylorm_121908.pdf


HENRY FORD WILLIAMS, JR. v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Joe R. Johnson, Springfield, Tennessee, for the appellant, Henry Ford Williams, Jr.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Clarence E. Lutz, Assistant Attorney General; John Wesley Carney, Jr., District Attorney General; and Dent Morriss, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

The petitioner, Henry Ford Williams, Jr., appeals from the denial of his 2006 petition for post- conviction relief, which challenged his 2002 convictions of possession with the intent to sell .5 grams or more of cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school zone and of simple possession of cocaine. He asserts that he was denied the effective assistance of counsel at trial and that he was denied due process because the jury pool was racially imbalanced. Finding that the petitioner has failed to show by clear and convincing evidence that counsel was ineffective and that the petitioner has waived his due process claim, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/williamsh_121908.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. TIMOTHY MCGUIRE WOODS

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Emma Rae Tennent, Assistant Public Defender, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Timothy McGuire Woods.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Clarence Lutz, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Roger Moore, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WELLES

The Defendant, Timothy McGuire Woods, pleaded guilty in the Davidson County Criminal Court to misdemeanor theft. Under the plea agreement, he received a sentence of eleven months and twenty-nine days in the county jail, and his sentence was probated. Following a hearing, the trial court ordered the Defendant to pay restitution to the victim in the amount of $2,250.55. On appeal, the Defendant argues that the proof did not sufficiently establish the amount of restitution awarded and, furthermore, that the trial court did not consider the Defendant's financial resources or ability to pay as required by statute. Because we conclude that the trial court made inadequate findings in assessing restitution, we remand for reconsideration of the restitution award based upon the required findings.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2008/woodst_121908.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Passages
TennBarU CLE
TBA Member Services
Resources

Legal News
New DA takes on drunken drivers
Gov. Phil Bredesen on Thursday swore into office Randall York as the new District Attorney General for the 13th Judicial District. The district covers Clay, Cumberland, DeKalb, Overton, Pickett, Putnam and White counties. York only has been on the job for a few months, but as WSMV-TV reports, he's already set out to target repeat drunken drivers.

Program looks to battle hate crimes
After seeing an increase in hate crimes, the NAACP organized a program on "How to Identify Hate Crime Activity" at the St. Paul CME Church in Jackson. Also taking part in the Thursday program were the U.S. Department of Justice, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and members of the U.S. Attorney's Office, the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. "We have seen a definite increase every year, and during a recession, it is easier to recruit members," SCLC's Michelle Bramblett said. "People are looking for someone to blame for their problems."
Read more in the Jackson Sun
New judge sworn in for 21st district
Gov. Phil Bredesen was in Franklin Friday to swear in James G. "Jim" Martin as the newest member of the judiciary. Martin, a 34-year Franklin resident who left the law firm of Stites & Harbison after being appointed by Bredesen in November, expressed gratitude to family, friends, the legal profession and the community for allowing him this new chapter in life.
Read more in the Williamson Herald
Passages
'Deep Throat' dies at 95
The FBI official who helped bring down President Richard M. Nixon by resisting the Watergate cover-up and becoming Deep Throat, the most famous anonymous source in American history, died Thursday. W. Mark Felt, who in 2005 revealed his identity and the role he played in the 1970s Watergate case, was 95.
Read more in the New York Times
TennBarU CLE
CLE Ski at Snowmass: Great skiing, great programs
Get great skiing and great CLE all in one package. The TBA's CLE Ski program returns for its 24th year with a week-long program in beautiful Snowmass, Colo., central to four remarkable ski areas: Snowmass, Aspen Highlands, Aspen Mountain and Buttermilk. Sign up now. CLE Ski will run from Jan. 31 through Feb. 7, with a total of 15 hours of CLE programming in the morning and afternoon and plenty of time during the day to conquer the slopes.
Register today or find out more
TBA Member Services
TBA, Bank of America team up for no-fee credit card
The TBA World Points Rewards MasterCard from Bank of America places a new world of rewards, privileges, and service at your command -- with no annual fee.
Click here to learn more
Resources
Find Blawgs and more at TBA's Information Central
TBA members can now turn to the new Information Central web page to find the top news of the day along with a directory of law-related blogs from Tennessee lawyers and other reliable sources. In addition, you'll find links to the Tennessee Bar Journal, TBA-produced webcasts, free online legal research through Fastcase and more.
Go there now

 
 
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About this publication: Today's News is a compilation of digests of news reports of interest to Tennessee lawyers compiled by TBA staff, links to digested press releases, and occasional stories about the TBA and other activities written by the TBA staff or members. Statements or opinions herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Tennessee Bar Association, its officers, board or staff.

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